ATTRIBUTED TO WILLIAM GAWIN HERDMAN (BRITISH 1805-1882)
PANORAMIC VIEW OF THE TRONGATE GLASGOW
Oil on canvas
102cm x 140cm (40in x 55in)
Estimate £ 10,000-15,000
Note: An atmospheric and evocative scene of Glasgow's central hub, the Trongate, in the late 19th century, this panoramic view depicts the bustling street, looking west, towards the modern-day Buchanan Street. Two key Glasgow landmarks are prominent: the Tolbooth Steeple on the right hand side of the composition and the Tron Steeple further down the street. Close attention to the fashions worn by female figures and the named shop fronts, suggest that this scene can be dated to the 1870s.
The name 'Trongate,' in reference to this area of Glasgow, first appeared around 1560. The name developed in response to, and in recognition of, the 'tron' - the beam which officially weighed trade goods as they entered the city walls. 'Gait' or 'gate' is an old Scottish word meaning, 'the way to,' thus Trongate is literally the way to the 'tron;' the way to the financial and mercantile centre of Glasgow.
The name has stuck throughout the centuries, even as the city has changed and developed. In its time, the building which the eye-catching Tron Steeple has stood over has housed both Catholic and Protestant churches, a place of execution, a meeting hall, a police station and is now a theatre. Times, people and reputations change but this striking work demonstrates that city monuments are enduring keystones, creating a consistent backdrop against which the city hustle and bustle flourishes.
Sold for £12,500 (buyer's premium included)